What’s black and white and read all over?

A newsletter of course! And while there are perhaps hundreds of ways to market your business and increase your bottom line, one of the single most effective tools in marketing is your own business-building newsletter – the perfect direct mail approach to marketing any small business offline or online.

The Power of Newsletters:

Newsletters show the customer you care – even when you can’t be there.

Newsletters answer basic wants and needs, which leads to word of mouth referrals and greater loyalty – something your competitors can’t buy.

Newsletters reinforce your message.

Great newsletters get read and saved by decision makers.

The more your readers see your name, the more inclined they are to refer you, hire you, and buy from you.

Great newsletters establish you as their personal expert, someone they trust.

Great newsletters can make even a “small” company look big. It builds your image.

Your newsletter can help “qualify” a prospect. They can read it and learn about your product and services, cutting their buying curve.

Before you begin your newsletter, decide…

The purpose or objective in publishing your newsletter.

Is it to educate and improve the personal and professional lives of your readers?

Is it to market and position your company as the resource for answers to their problems?

Who is your target audience?

How often will you publish? A monthly newsletter keeps your company on the top of your customer’s and prospect’s minds.

What type of newsletter is ideal for your readers? Paper publications have a longer life span; they create a strong impression in the customer’s mind, however they are costly to produce. Ezines can use basically the same format, are easy to read and are convenient for the reader to reply to. The downside is that they can be deleted too quickly (even before it is ever read). And many ezines I’ve read are filled with self-promotion and are basically a waste of time.

What is your budget? Can you afford a four color or two/three color printed piece, or do you go for simple black and white? Simple can be better; as long as it is a professionally presented newsletter your readers will respond to.

How long will it be? When you first start producing, focus on a one to four page newsletter to produce.

Who gets it? You can send your message to a small or large group. You get to decide who gets it. This form of direct communication filled with information the reader can use creates a bond that is difficult to achieve through other forms of mass marketing.

If you don’t enjoy writing, you could interview others for ideas, or invite others in your industry (those not in direct competition) to write guest articles. You could also purchase industry specific newsletters with your message and promotional info on them. Nearly every major industry has this service. Check with your associations for a referral.

Remember that your newsletter is an extension of you and your company. The image it conveys is the image your readers will remember. Be consistent. If you publish and send monthly, then publish and send monthly.

You can purchase your own software to manage your list(s) to send out your newsletters or use some of the FREE options on the web.

Newsletters are an excellent direct-mail marketing idea to market your small business offline and keep your name in front of your target audience. So… Is it time to increase your visibility with newsletters? If it is then… Write-on!